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Opinion

Every game should have an Icefrog

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

Being the head of balance and design is a precarious position, doubly so in esports as careers are on the line depending on how the patch goes. This is what makes Icefrog such an enigma to me. Although not every Dota 2 patch has been perfect, and some have been outright bad, everyone has accepted this is part of the Icefrog process. If you give him enough time, he will not only fix the game, but he will make it better. I can’t name a single esports dev that has been met with as much praise as Icefrog for his game. Jeff Kaplan in Overwatch had to come out to defend himself about not balancing the game for pros and the dive meta. The only good thing StarCraft 2 people could say during David Kim’s retirement was that his job was very hard (Even in that nostalgia phase, no one went so far as to say he was great at his job because everyone still remembered BL/infestor). No matter what happens, Icefrog is consistently praised.

I think it comes to two things: First is that among all of the devs, he is the only one whose primary focus is based on the pro scene. Second, I think he has more power to do what he wants in Dota 2. I feel like every game should have an Icefrog, it’s just that many of the big ones do not.

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